Two Coral Springs Residents Charged in COVID-19 Fraud Cases

Two Coral Springs Residents Charged in COVID-19 Fraud Cases

Federal prosecutors charge Keegan Harricharan and Jennifer Pamela Izzo in separate pandemic fraud cases

By Kevin Deutsch

Federal prosecutors recently charged two Coral Springs residents in separate pandemic fraud cases, court records show.

Keegan Harricharan, 39, of Heron Bay Boulevard, was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud for participating in a scheme to submit millions of dollars in fraudulent PPP loan applications, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Harricharan received a fraudulent PPP loan of $840,827 for his own company, World Scientific Industrial and Medical, federal prosecutors said.

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Prosecutors also won an indictment against Jennifer Pamela Izzo, 34, of Northwest 23rd Manor, charging her with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, records show.

Izzo carried out a months-long embezzlement scheme against her former employer, through which she misappropriated company funds and attempted to personally enrich herself from a COVID-relief loan submitted on behalf of the Broward-based company, according to the Department of Justice.

From October 2019 to April 2020, Izzo abused her position as the company’s bookkeeper and accounts payable clerk by creating fictitious accounts in the names of the company’s real vendors, ultimately funneling the funds into her personal bank account, prosecutors said.

The indictment also alleged Izzo abused her position by filing an Economic Injury Disaster Loan application, which she had been asked to submit on behalf of the company to apply for federal COVID-assistance funds.

Prosecutors said Izzo submitted the application with her own personal bank account information to enrich herself personally.

The government did not identify the victimized company.

The prosecutions were announced Thursday by the Southern District of Florida’s U.S. Attorney’s Office. The agency also revealed the creation of a new South Florida-based COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force Team, one of three such teams operating nationally.

In recent weeks alone, the district has charged 23 COVID-19 relief fraud cases with scheme amounts totaling over $150 million, including the cases filed against Harricharan and Izzo, records show.

In total, the South Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged over 80 cases since the CARES Act, which provided emergency COVID relief funds to Americans, was passed. The agency has seized over $23.5 million in stolen relief funds.

“These Strike Force Teams will build on the Department’s historic enforcement efforts to deter, detect, and disrupt pandemic fraud wherever it occurs,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Since the start of this pandemic, the Justice Department has seized over $1.2 billion in relief funds that criminals were attempting to steal and charged over 1,500 defendants with crimes in federal districts across the country, but our work is far from over. The Department will continue to work relentlessly to combat pandemic fraud and hold accountable those who perpetrate it.”

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Author Profile

Kevin Deutsch

Kevin Deutsch
Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.

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